tv Washington Journal CSPAN June 28, 2010 7:00am-10:00am EDT
he never lost an election, in fact, never got less than 64% during running for the senate. we want to get your reaction to the debt and service of robert byrd. the numbers are on the screen. and if you live in west virginia, we especially want to hear from you this morning. we have set aside a line for you. joining us on the line from "politico." is martin kady. you wrote -- he is the guardian of a round that so few
understood. guest: it is a sad day for the united states senate and for west virginia. if lyndon baines johnson was the master of the senate, robert byrd was the keeper of all of its rules and traditions and things that most americans, when you tune into c-span, don't really understand. use either terminology unparliamentary removing, but robert byrd was the master. not just as longevity -- more than 50 years -- but through his own hard work, he decided he was going to be an inside player. he would master the roles of the senate. he would figure out through his career how to increase its power by understanding the various ways in which the senate works better than anyone, well into his 80s and 90s. he could still go to the floor and he understood things better than sometimes the parliamentarian himself. so, byrd, he is the author of a
history of the united states senate. when you say he wrote the book of the senate, that is literally true. host: legislatively, what will he be best remembered for? guest: it is interesting. it is hard to pick a particular landmark bill, but he is best known by most americans for the lot of pork barrel spending for his home state. remember, west virginia was and remains a very poor state. if you have driven through west virginia, and you can see his impact, things are named after him. federal facilities have been built in the eastern panhandle of west virginia and provided much employment for the state. he was chairman of the appropriations committee until just about a year ago when he got gently pulled aside when became frail, but he is best known for his representation in
the appropriations committee of his home state. host: earlier in his career he was a segregationist, correct. guest: it is part of his biography. he apologized for it. he not only was a segregationist but in the early twenties he was recruited by the local clubs klan chapter in southern west virginia. -- local coo clubs klan chapter. he joined, and later quit. he says he regrets that part of his life. in his time he said that was the way to become politically active. it is an ugly part of his party and personal history. he also filibustered the 1957 civil rights act. civil rights act. it was a classic filibuster. he was a true southern democrat at the time, much like strom thurmond. against desegregation. in the last decade or two, though, he became one of the most reliably liberal votes. a full evolution.
host: in 2008 he endorsed barack obama in the primary even though hillary clinton won west virginia by a large margin. guest: the full american experience, a guy who once filibustered the civil rights act was one of the key senators to endorse barack obama before he clinched the nomination. host: now, he was the last senator to serve from the 1950's. what were his relationships with all the different presidents over the years? guest: they were up and down. he was a huge critic of president bush. he was against the iraq war and he gave some of his most passionate speeches in recent years against the iraq war. i don't know how deep his relations it has been with barack obama because, frankly, he has been fairly removed from the senate and fairly ill the last year and a half.
remember, but when all the way back, he challenged the -- going all the way back, he challenged ted kennedy for leader and he beat ted kennedy for senate leader in the early 1970's and that put him on a different path. host: two things you report in your story that are pretty well known. at least one of them, he would carry a u.s. constitution, a pocket competition. guest: it might seem a quaint to those of us who are on twitter and facebook and on the internet all day, but he carried a pocket constitution and to he would " from it. he said, you know what, this is all i will need iff-- this is all i need. but he was much more intellectual. he could go to the senate floor and in a speech, and he would " caribbean is from the bible, and sorrow for philosophy, and madison from the federalist papers -- he would quote
corinthians from the bible and thoreau from philosophy. host: here is another quote -- guest: doesn't that seem quite? -- quaint. host: he served in the u.s. senate since 1954. we want to get your reaction to the passing of senator robert byrd. marjorie from pratte, west virginia. guest: good morning. i can't begin to tell you what a loss i feel this morning. i just absolutely adore him. our state has lost -- pbs did a series about him called the soul of the senate.
we have lost a soul of the senate and a soul of west virginia. he did so much for us. when people call him the pork barrel king, that term, i know, is it used as derision but for us here in west virginia, he brought jobs, roads, interstate highway system here. a he really brought us from what i feel was almost a medieval type of existence into the modern state that we do have. but i would like to tell something that he did for my family in particular. my father worked over 60 years in the coal mines, and, of course, we know he was the main person who got the coal mine health and safety laws passed to protect them.
when my father became ill with what they called black long -- excuse me -- when he became ill with that disease and was diagnosed with it, the operators that owed him money for that fought him year after year and finally i just became so frustrated that i wrote senator byrd a letter and explained my father's plight and asked if he could help. in less than six weeks my father had his removal ration -- real moderation -- remuneration. and my mother is still receiving the payment to help heart live a better life today. so he directly impacted my family and i am so grateful. host: did you ever meet him? guest: know -- caller: no, i did not. my husband met him on several
occasions. my husband did work in the late '80s and the 1990's in coal mine health and safety. he had many occasions to meet senator byrd. host: thank you for calling in and sharing your tory. this is from wikipedia, a little information. he became the longest serving member. previously he held the record for longest unbroken tenure in the senate. considering his tenure as state legislator from west virginia, his service on the political front exceeds 60 years. byrd, and never lost an election, cast his 18,000 boat
-- 18,000th vote in 2007. and he became the last living u.s. senator from the 1950's. this means that not only is he the only person in u.s. history to remain in the senate for that entire period, but he has outlived any other senator who had seniority over him. he is the only surviving senator to have voted on a bill giving states could to a u.s. territory. the next call comes from jim in raleigh, north carolina, on the republicans alike. caller: good morning. i just wanted on behalf of the state of north carolina, as a north cleaning -- north carolinian, extend condolences. he was a great senator. he did it not for the state. as your previous caller just stated, west virginia may not have progressed as far as it had when it comes to infrastructure,
etc., had it not been for senator byrd. i just hope that the u.s. senators and all members of congress will take a moment of pause during these times to celebrate his life and reflect on their integrity and their conduct in office and what the true dream for this country was. because senator byrd exemplified it. thank you. host: another call on west virginia on our west virginia line. jeff, a democrat from parkersburg. caller: i am a first-time caller. host: welcome. caller: i felt strongly about calling c-span before but never like this morning. i went to bed last night expecting the sad news unfortunately. i was lucky enough to meet senator byrd in 2006 while he was on the campaign trail in west virginia. and anyone who was ever lucky
enough to see him speak live, he would we've wonderful stories, ann quite frankly, at the start of the story i wondered, where is he going with this, but he kept my attention and he would pull it all together about his humble upbringing and wonderful wife and his experiences and wrapped it up with a one of the most brilliant political speeches i have ever heard. host: thank you for calling in. we appreciate it. 202-628-0184 is our west virginia line. again, from wikipedia --
just to point out, he did oppose cameras in the senate for a couple of years prior to that until he wanted to make sure the senate did not become the invisible branch. william, tallahassee, florida. caller: how are you doing today? i just want to say i mean no disrespect for these guys, but there comes a point where people get too old to be running the country the guy did great in his younger days but at 90 years younger days but at 90 years old, 92, there comes a point where things were done the way they were done in the past. this is the future. our country is in the position it is in now because of these guys running the country for so long and not doing a job they should have been doing. he did a great job but i think they could have done better. and if they would not have been in office so long -- two new guys a chance -- our country would be in better shape than it is.
host: here is a little bit from "the west virginia gazette." his wife died in 2006 -- our next call is from san francisco, robert, on our democrats line. you are on the air. caller: my heart goes out to the families and the people of west virginia and the united states. this man was a brilliant senator. i beg to differ with the gentleman who called adjust -- just a few minutes ago. i feel that senator byrd with a
21st century senator. there are so many people who are in the senate now who are young, and i hope that this country would not be like california, where the voters are always legislating instead of the legislators themselves. it is a same that -- shame that we have term limits here, and nothing gets done and in the shape we are in, it seems like the country is going in the shape as well. putting all that aside, we have lost a great man. he has come full circle and i just hope and pray that someone from west virginia could step into his shoes. thank you. host: speaking of that, this is from the state journal out of west virginia.
what does state law say about the details of an appointment to u.s. senate seat? the governor is currently term- limited. limited. senator byrd is up for election in 2012. if you count the months, there is 2011 and all of 2012, that is 24 months plus a little bit of january of 2013, plus six months left in this year. so, it is right around 30 months, depending on how they figure it. so it could go either way. there could be an appointee where they serve for the full 30
moms or somebody who gets appointed for a short term until the next election. philadelphia, james. caller: how are you doing? he is one of the few senators who carries a copy of the constitution in his pocket. i did not know if many knew that. i have a feeling the democrats are going to lose that seat. host: why do you say that? guest: the direction of the congress and the way va has been going the last election or two, i have a feeling it is going to go republican. host: the governor is currently democrat. the appointee will be a democrat. caller: until the e election. host: independent line, what you think about the passing of the senate. caller: a giant has passed away from the senate. he grew throughout his whole
life. it started out as a klansman and became smarter and smarter. probably the smartest senator we have had -- not in terms of formal litigation, but studied hard and he learned and we are all lucky to have had him. host: can you count how many times you voted for senator byrd? byrd? caller: i have never voted for him because i am a new resident of west virginia. but i would have loved to have. caller: ok, all right. pardon me. he was valedictorian of mark twain high school when he graduated in reynolds county, west virginia. and he went to american university law school at night while serving in the senate. in the late 1950's and early 1960's. decatur, alabama. you are on the air. caller: i want to thank you all for taking my call.
of cake, and deepest sympathy to the bird family -- ok, the deepest sympathy to the byrd family. the stimulus package -- will that continue to go on with him being gone now? would hurt the democrats? will a democrat able to come in and appalled and bush's vision and goals out? host: 57, 41, and two i think is the current breakdown. 57 democrats, 41 republicans and two independents. so this would be 56 and 41 and two independents. so, the democrats still have a
big majority in the senate. and the governor of west virginia is a democrat. and he could appoint -- he can appoint anyone he wants, but chances are he will appoint a democrat. and he is term-limited. according to one article, he could possibly appoint himself as well because he is term- limited as governor. back to the article from "the west virginia gazette." here is how it concludes -- on the republican line is david from pittsburgh, pennsylvania. caller: just wanted to make one
point. a democrat who mentioned that he was in the klan. it just wanted to expound on that -- because if it was a republican we would be talking about his past. he was a 20-year-long member. i did not know the hierarchy. not a member myself. but once i heard the term, grand -- something like that. maybe the people in west virginia can enlighten me. meaning he was a recruiter, he would bring young men in and send them out to terrorize blacks. interesting you hear black people praising him today. it is really strange. also, he once referred to the black race during the confederate flag talks, way back, called them a mongrel race and he used the n-word on "meet the press" referring to white trash as white -- you know what.
just to juxtaposed -- just remember if trent lott had been a 20-year-long member of the klan. he never would have gotten into the senate. i think the double standards are amazing. i don't personally believe that white men like this change. i think it is the opportunity. i am not a member of the clan but i'm a conservative who believes in -- has pride in my heritage and race and i do believe that people like him just decide to stick a knife n the back of their own kind and do what they can to advance themselves and the democrat party. host: what you mean by their own kind? caller: members of our own race. he profited all his life because of his race and like so many others turned on his race through affirmative-action policies and many others. host: according to wikipedia, he is the only senator to voted -- who voted against nominations of thurgood marshall and clarence thomas. ed in for campbell, ky. go-ahead with your comments.
caller: i am saddened to learn about senator byrd's debt. as a politician i did not care for a lot of things. i pulled out a piece of memorabilia that i had. from march of 1979 when senator byrd actually. on the grand old opry in nashville, tennessee. most of the people on the peak -- on the sheet i am looking at, the program, most of these people are all dead and gone and i remember the weekend he. on the standard candy company portion of the opera -- this is primarily for people like senator byrd -- he autographed by program backstage. i asked him to. the funniest thing i remember about our conversation back there, i have an autographed copy of an album he made called
"now and fiddler." most probably are not aware he enjoyed music much less played a musical instrument. but he did. and he signed this thing and he asked me who my favorite politician -- i am trying to remember part of the conversation. i told him, i said, senator byrd, to be honest, i am not really particularly fond of any politician. his head jerked back and he kind of laughed and he said, well, son, decant be all that bad being here of the grand ole opry on this beautiful saturday night in march. he was just, like a lot of folks i have seen around at festivals of around the country, he loved it. he loved it at that time. i had not heard him speech because i would watch him a lot on c-span, any time i had a chance because i like the man as
a person. i did not care much about the politics, like i say, of anybody. host: thank you for calling him. i remember once interviewing him and asking him one question and 60 minutes later the interview was over and i was done. one answer, one question. it was easy. margaret, west virginia. democrat. please go ahead with your comments. caller: i serve on the west virginia state democratic executive committee. and i feel today it is a very sad day for the people of west virginia. we just came back, just got back last night from charleston, our state capital, where we had our executive committee meeting. and we had banquets and luncheons and we are honored senator byrd with a film at a banquet on saturday night. he was our friend, and he made sure that the people of west
virginia knew it. he was always there for us and for the country. he so regreted bush sending the troops and he said at the time that he weeps for his country. and today i personally weep for our state and the people of west virginia who have lost their beloved senator robert byrd. host: margaret, did you know last night that this was coming? were you pretty suspicious about that? caller: yes, yes. we received word that he was gravely ill. it and we were expecting it. but even when you expected, it is such a loss to our state and to the nation, in my opinion. host: what was his involvement in the state democratic party? caller: he was very involved. i would like to think of him as our chief alert -- cheerleader. he always gave his all.
and at every opportunity, he would put west virginia and a positive light. he cared so much for the people. he used to like to stay in private homes when he would be traveling in west virginia during campaigns or other events. he preferred being with the people. he truly was the people's senator, and he cared so deeply about everyone, and most of all, i think his beloved erma, when he lost her, it was different. but he came back and was determined to fight. i can honestly say that he was my friend and i loved him. host: do you remember the last conversation you had with the senator? caller: yes, i do, and i also remember when i was honored as an outstanding democrat. he held my hand. host: what was that last conversation?
caller: he held my hand -- that last conversation was two years ago. when he was in west virginia to speed -- speak. he met with a lot of us. he really gave us a pep talk about our party, and serving the people. host: finally, margaret. was there any discussion -- i hate that, i know he just passed -- but was there any discussion last night about a potential appointee that the governor might make? caller: no, we all have feelings on what might happen, which i would rather not discuss today. but there was no formal talk about it. host: thank you for calling in and sharing your experience with senator byrd. david, massachusetts,
republican. caller: thank you. i really want to resist speaking ill of the dead but i think that because he was on the national political scene for over 50 years as a congressman and senator, we have to look at some -- some of the impact the had. as the king of pork, he supported this philosophy in washington of just spending and spending and spending. that is really just served to drive the country into debt. i find it a little ironic when, i can understand how the people the west virginia have great appreciation for him standing up for them, but he is also a reason why their taxes have gone up as the national deficit has ballooned. i take a little bit of issue as a portrait of him being a humble servant of west virginia. as the king of pork, i believe he had 80 buildings named after himself while he was alive in that state. which, to me, seems to be a
little bit of a contradiction. host: rochelle on our independent line in southfield, michigan. caller: i just wanted to comment. as an african-american, i have not heard -- and i am independent -- i have not heard of senator byrd's conversion from his feelings toward african-americans and others. and like the caller earlier who mentioned that he was in the ku klux klan for 20 years, i have my questions. so many people calling in saying what a wonderful person he is. and something we teach our children is, if you see a person and they may be kind to you, but they are bullying towards others or they are not quite nice to other people, then you have to question their integrity and who they are inside. it just because they are nice to
you, if they are not that way to others you need to question that. so, i find it a little bit -- i don't know, a little challenging to listen to all of the people saying he was a wonderful person and he never -- care about all the people of west virginia or va, and i'm thinking to myself, how could this been if he didn't care for a good portion of the population, which may be black or other races unless -- i don't know, unless he totally changed. perhaps there was something that happened to, was there a moment in his life -- is there a caller who knows where there was a moment in his life where he had an epiphany or a change of heart or a change of philosophy towards others, i would love to hear of it, because like the caller earlier stated, i am not sure that people sometimes change when they are that
dedicated. host: all right, thank you for calling in. this is a tweet -- as a regular viewers know, the c-span archives, all 165,000 hours or so of video that we have put on line is available. go to c-span.org, c-span archives, and you are able to watch. just type in the search engine, senator byrd, and you are able to watch all sorts of video throughout the years of senator byrd on the senate floor, and in committee hearings, at different events around town. also, he is the author of a couple of books. "book tv" covered two of them. "losing america: confronting a reckless and american presidency," and his biography
of "child of the appalachian coal fields." you can watch them on book tv.org. your views. caller: i think one of the things that impressed me about him, is i did not know a lot about him until a few years ago and i heard discussion on c- span, in fact, about him questioning the invasion of iraq and it just extremely impressed me. i went back and listened to some of the speech. the comments he was making as to why are we are reading, there is no rush. it impressed me significantly and caused me to get a little more interested in him. i'm going to go back and read the text of those speeches because i think quite a bit about what he said about the lack of planning for post invasion, post-war, was very telling about him in terms of his view of what will happen in the future and the chief
question is, why are we in memory. that was really my only comment as to what he had done for the senate and what he could have done. host: if you are looking at c- span right now, you are seeing video of senator byrd on the old "book notes" program where he talked about the history of the senate. to c-ent an hour talking span about that history. senator byrd was also well-known for making speeches on the floor. here is just a little taste of what senator byrd was like. >> let me begin this evening with a look backward over the well-traveled road of history. history always turns our faces back or, and this is as it should be, so that we might be better informed and prepared to exercise wisdom in dealing with future events. to be ignorant of what happened
before you were born, said cicero, is to remain always a child. so, for a little while, as we need to gather in this hallowed place, let us turn our faces back word -- backwards. host: that was the speech in the old senate floor. kentucky, hi. caller: i have some questions to ask. everybody wants to talk about the oil spill and stuff, but what about jobs? you work two weeks and get laid off -- host: tell you what -- appreciate your comments but we are talking about senator byrd and his passing. it was at 3:00 a.m. this morning in suburban washington. in nova hospital in fairfax, virginia, about 15 miles from the capital. robert, north carolina, independent lives -- independent
line. caller: condolences to the people of west virginia, and of course, the people of the united states. he is one of the few that had courage enough to recognize the war profiteering administration of the cheney-bush administration -- i say it in that order. he remembered what general eisenhower had to say when he left office, to be aware of the military and a stroke, that attempts to run the country -- military-industrial, but that attempts to run the country. after 9/11, the hysteria of 9/11. this would advantage of the war profiteers of the country. when you enter into wars -- making cannon fodder of our children. thank you.
host: chances are that senator byrd will be lying in state at the capitol. the funeral plans have not been announced. but youucan be sure that c-span will be covering such even spirited would field, ohio. a democrat. caller: i got to meet senator byrd had a democratic convention, or a fund-raiser down and wheeling, west virginia. he was head of a decent guy. it was sort of a fluke. we will down here -- we were down here with a buddy of mine. we got in and he happened to be coming by. he was really a decent guy to talk to. i mean, his past might have been his past but he was pretty good. he was great for the working men and women in the west virginia and in ohio and pennsylvania. what was ironic, i have been around different places and you would hear him say something bad about representatives or congressmen or their senators and nobody said nothing, but
christmas shopping and somebody in mind said something bad about senator byrd and there were several people went over and said, listen, he is a nice guy. i was amazed that the people would defend somebody like that because that is rare to see it going today. most of the time nobody defend one another, they just sort of agreed with it. it was just pretty unique and it will be a big loss for west virginia and the country as far as i'm concerned. thank you. host: from charleston, west virginia. byrd was a near-be ready to the struggling west virginia where he delivered countless projects --
ravenswood, west virginia. tell us about your experience. bob, republican bill caller:hi. first off, my condolences to his family. senator byrd was well respected here by i think all west virginians, including myself. he did do a lot for our state. it is hard for a stroke -- small state like west virginia to get good representation -- presentation. i did not know if i would go along with the pork label. host: you call on the republican line. did you vote for him? caller: well, i did. i have voted for him and against him. at one point -- i hate to bring it up after his passing, but i shared it with others before. i did respect him but i did lose respect for him during the bill clinton white house sexual affair. he came out very strongly
condemning at first, and i kind of felt light -- felt like he bowed toward partisan pressure again. host: what do you think the governor will do? any word on west virginia media -- has the governor made a statement? caller: no, i heard earlier may be on your program or another newscast, they had a meeting in the past year or two. senator byrd was not doing very well. maybe came up with some kind of plan. if you ask mr. public in west virginia, they really believe governor mansion -- mancin may appoint himself. host: what do you think of that? caller: par for the courts. the governor -- we are a liberal state of our politics, but i believe he is maybe a little more toward the middle. i would probably be ok with it.
host: republican, shelby township, michigan. you are on the air. caller: i just have a question for you this morning. did we have this type of -- sense i am a long time listener and watching person of c-span program -- i'm wondering, did we have a strumpfer armond type call-in july host: i guarantee we did. caller: it just kind of stuns me in the past when we had issues with david duke, how he was involved with a clan -- the klan, just the hypocrisy how the democrats can bring a guy like this up to, almost like a marquee-type king status.
anyway, that is all i had this morning. for the people of west virginia, you know, i feel strom thrumond was much more of an icon frankly. host: patricia, a democrat, washington, d.c. caller: good morning. i'm going to quote what one of the elite people said. i'm one of the little people. senator byrd always never forgot the little people. he was an avid citizen band operated. he was known as big byrd. we would contact him and he would talk on this citizen's band. a cb operator. host: are the still use? caller: no, they are not. but i'm back in the day and he was known as big byrd. he met with us on the capitol
steps, a group of us who belonged to a club. he was so gracious. he took us to his office and all of that. this may be a part that people don't know about senator byrd and the little people. host: west virginia, independent line. you are on the air. tell us about senator byrd. caller: he was a great man. we are going to miss him very, very much. i am 50 years old, and i met him when i was probably 12 years old. met him several times after that, but at different things. he raised a lot of money for west virginia for water systems, sewage systems. he tried to help clean the state up. we are going to miss him. we miss his wife, too. host: was she active in politics also? caller: she would travel with
him, but i have never heard her say anything political. she was a very nice lady. she loved the people of west virginia, and so did he. host: where are you? caller: we are right on the maryland line. just east of morgantown, west virginia. host: did you ever vote against him? caller: one time. host: who was that for? caller: there was a republican who ran up in the panhandle. i think it was the biggest mistake i ever made. that is how i feel about him. he just tried to help the state so much. i don't know -- i believe we will probably have joe manchin. host: you are the second or third caller to say that, that he might appoint himself. what do you think about that? caller: i think that he has been working his way to that point.
you have to remember, he was a -- with coal, and all of what happened in the state, senator byrd was pushing for a lot of changes in laws and stuff. and for our governor who was coal broker, to push the laws like he has, i believe that is the next step. host: all right, well, thank you for calling in, floyd. other things are going on today, as you know, in washington. here is "usa today." john paul stevens, last day of decisions as a justice. when suddenly, the hearings for elena kagan began at 12:30 p.m. today. you will be able to watch it on c-span. jess bravin from "the wall street journal" is up next to talk about those hearings.
[captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] >> c-span is now available in over 100 million homes, bringing you a direct link to public affairs, politics, history, and nonfiction books. created by america's cable companies. >> let me say to the american people, this is a change of personnel but it is not a change in policy. general petraeus fully participated in our review last fall. and he both supported and helped
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it looked at the fcc process to be classified internet with members of the house communications subcommittee. "the communicator's" on c-span2. >> "washington journal" continues. host: jess bravin with "the wall street journal." "usa today" lead editorial " said elena kagan, setting the senate hearings are a hollow shell raid -- quotes elena kagan, saying the senate hearings are hollow charade. guest: i spoke to john paul stevens and he says it is an opportunity for the senators to say how important hearings are. beyond that, not to much. there is a certain dynamic to these proceedings, the nominee will pledge her fidelity to the law, will decide existing precedent on important issues, and will promise to pay close attention to separation of
powers and the text of the constitution. beyond that, we probably will learn more about her. we will learn about the senators and what they think the priorities of the supreme court should be. host: is there any danger at this point to her being confirmed? guest: it seems unlikely. she is someone who comes in with a pretty strong backing, certainly from all of the democrats, a fair amount of conservative support and a type of very establishment credentials that people expect in the supreme court nominee. she does not come in as a bricklayer or some other type of experience. she comes in as a former dean of the most prominent law school in the country. i think that barring some completely unexpected revelation during this week -- and we can always hope for something dramatic, if only for the narrative -- we should see her confirmed later this summer. host: have republican senators yet voiced opposition to her?
guest: i believe that perhaps one senator, senator in half, i believe, did say she was opposed to her. others say they are reserving judgment but they have grave, serious concerns about what they consider to be very disturbing aspects of her past. so, some have signalled she has a high bar to cross. others have suggested that they are more sympathetic to her. so, most senators, even democrats, said they are not promising to vote for her. they want to at least go through the formal exercise of the hearings before they officially make their choice. host: you heard the stories about the e-mails when she served in the clinton administration. what have you heard? guest: she was exposed to a huge variety of issues that face the country, that the white house has its fingers on almost anything that goes on, issues on
american indian reservations, to the big tobacco lawsuit that was filed then and actually still some action for the supreme court now. tax policy, patents, almost everything that goes on in the country at some level influences the white house, and on the domestic policy staff she had a role in it. we heard that she was quite hard sometimes in her vocabulary. she was very businesslike to her approach to issues, very politically savvy. everything, in fact, that we would have expected. host: where would you see, knowing what you do about elena kagan, where the you see the lines of questioning going? guest: the democrats will ask for to explain how wonderful she is and how all of her preparation to this moment really inevitably lead to her nomination and how she would be extremely concerned with the impact of longer on ordinary, everyday people, and how she
will make sure she will balance of the necessary factors that come before the supreme court and will do an absolutely wonderful spectacular job. republicans will ask her to explain why she hates the military, why she turned her back on patriotic americans who were willlng to lay down their lives to protect her freedom and freedom of all of the pointy headed faculty members at harvard. they will ask her why she never found time to practice law during her long career and never found jack -- time to be a judge or do anything other than the a crass opportunistic political hack and whether that qualifies her to be on the supreme court. so, i think those are the main lines of questioning we will see, perhaps with a slightly different -- slightly more euphemistic disguise. host: all right. jess bravin is our guest.
he is with "the wall street journal." he is covering the elena kagan hearings. the numbers are on the screen -- please allow 30 days between your calls so that others can get in. talk about the elena kagan hearings that begin today. in fact, they will be live on c- span 3 beginning at 12:30 p.m. eastern time, live from gavel to gavell the house and senate are both scheduled to be in and that is why they are not being carried on c-span or c-span2 at this point. but on our website, c-span.org, you can watch all of this live at our c-span supreme court hearing hub. it is all right there at c- span.org, so if you got a computer, you can watch elena kagan at your desk or on your wireless. go ahead and start dialing in. we want to show you one piece of video. this is elena kagan and justice
scalia talking about the citizens united case. 3 corrupt the federal system. >> self interest -- we are suspicious of congressional action in the first amendment area precise lists -- precisely because -- at least i'm -- i doubt that one can expect a body of incumbents to draw elections restrictions that cannot favor incumbents. now, is that excessively cynical of me? i don't think so. >> i think justice scalia is wrong. in fact, corporate and union money go overwhelmingly to incumbents. this may be the single cells the ninth thing congress has done. if you look -- self -- if you ask for the money goes, it comes 10 times more to incumbents than challengers.
in the prior election cycle, even more than that. for an obvious reason. when corporations play in the political process, they want winners. they want people who will produce outcomes for them. they know the way to get the outcomes, to get the winners, is to invest and incumbents. that is what they did. as i said, and double-digit times more than they invest in challengers. so, i think that rationale, which is undoubtedly true in many contexts, simply is not the case. h., -- host: that was september of 2009, oral arguments in the supreme court case on citizens united. that has now been settled. guest: elena kagan is the solicitor general sober job right now is to defend and a federal law that is challenged. that was but mccain-feingold act, aspects of that that was challenged. she is there to defend the constitutionality. she did not succeed.
it was a 5-4 vote of the court to strike down provisions of that law that restricted political expenditures by corporations. and that decision, which was delivered in january, has become a major political flash point that the president, very distressed at it, democrats in congress very distressed at the court's view that the first amendment protect and unfettered right of corporations to spend on political campaigns. republicans have been somewhat more muted, but to the extent that it expressed opinions, they have supported that decision. we are likely to hear a lot about that case during this week because four democrats, it is a symbol of what they see as a very pro-business court that is skewing the log to favor corporations. republican certainly don't agree with that. host: now to your calls. surely, owings mills, maryland. talking about elena kagan.
caller: i am really upset that democrats never seem to be able to get "activist judges" and the republicans seem always to be able to get activist judges, pro-business and we cannot seem to get a candidate like that. i'm really upset with her selection but i do understand it, because her paper trail is so thin. i think after sonia sotomayor, barack somebody who -- one as somebody without a paper trail. host: what you mean by activist judges? caller: the case that she lost, saying corporations are basically people, that is pro- republican. it just really irritates me that people like jeff sessions are coming out and talking about activist judges but when they put roberts and alito, the activist judges to me as a liberal. host: thanks. jess bravin.
guest: activist judges is a term that gets thrown around a lot. actually president obama in his book "audacity of hope, " he said an activist judge is a judge that rules against you, in effect. as a journalist would try to stay away from that term because it has become just a synonym for, a judge would disagree with. republicans have often claimed that liberal decisions are activist decisions, this year we hear it conservative decisions are activist decisions. we prefer to stick to what the decision said and referred to our own judgment about whether we think that is an with precedent. in terms of who the democrats and republicans have appointed to the supreme court, again, with the citizens united and many of the decisions that the president and democrats have criticized, they have mostly been 5-4 decisions, with four
justices, is agreed that number, disagreeing with the majority. all three of the current justices appointed by democrats voted with the minority. so, i guess you can say that that is where they end up. host: at the bottom of this "usa today" pages this article, justice ginsburg's husband has died. have you met him? guest: i have not met him. i have covered the court since 2005. so, i have met him on occasion. he is a very well-known figure, was one. a very likable, affable, clever guy. known to be a great cook, but i have never had the privilege of tasting his kitchen work. very sad news yesterday. he was 78 years old. they were married in 1953, i believe, just as ginsberg and martin ginsburg. he joked because -- saying that
american in north american alliance association has come out against her, said she's not kosher. so that's what the international law will wind up by england with that kind of law. guest: well there's no justice of the united states supreme court that believes foreign laws or international laws are binding on the united states. the issue is really, when courts look to various forms of reasoning, are they ad to look and see how other court systems have addressed some of the similar issues and there's a divide between those that say they should do that lir aoften and those that say they shouldn't do it much. there's a number of issues where the supreme could must in terms of of hooking at treaties and other aspects of dealing with other countries but i think we
should say it's really a question of what degree to which foreign presidents should be looked at and in what context. not whether or not the court should wear blindfolds when foreign cases are mentioned. >> dennis lane tweets will politics ever been taken out of the supreme court to allow justice to be dispensed? guest: well i think there was a question when it was ever time in law school the marbury verses madison was taught as seminole moment of judicial review of congressional action. that was purely political. in which it had to do with whether or not a political point of a judge in washington would be honored by a new generation. chief of justice had been the celebritying ri tear of state in the previous administration.
there was a huge battle between federalist and theen afederalist. politics and law are related if not altogether happy siblings and i don't think we'll ever see a time when there's no relationship between the two. host: next call. new jersey. democrat line. hi.? caller: thank you for c-span. i think she'll be a fine nominee and bring more balance to the court. the man mentioned she was anticipate bricklayer a bricklayer would do a nicer job. we have the sense not to go hunting with dick cheney while there's a case pending. guest: i meant no offense to brick laying. it's an important and honorable occupation but may not be as relevant to serving on the supreme court.
in terms of justice scrollia. he's an incredible influential figure on the court and elena kagan has cited that when he visited harvard law school from which he graduated. however, we can expect that - well i'm sure she respects him as a judge and thinker, there will not be a large number of case is where the two of them agree in the future if you don't like justice scrollia's approach you probably will like elena kagan. >> you have a law degree from harvard? >> berkeley. >> under graduate? >> harvard. >> walling ford connecticut. andy, hi. >> i had a question or comment. the republicans talk about the supreme court should file the constitution. what if the constitution says the supreme court decides who's
president in bush verses gore? >> the constitution says the judicial you her will be held by a supreme court and the judicial power resolved disputes and that was a dispute. there's no question under the constitution the supreme court could exercise the authority and the other branches recognize it even the their unhappy. certainly some although i'd say probably half the member of congress were unhappy they decide to intervene. perhaps the other with this were pleased. >> in his column the bush and gore question be asked of elena kagan. you think they'll ask that question? guest: iraqi think i think it . i don't think you'll hear
republican senators recite it and i don't think she'll say much about it other than the fact that the court issueed the decision and it stressed that it was limited the facts at and that happen to be that election as apposed to spreading a broader constitution. >> christian scientist monitor this month or week asked should the court look more like america? as a long article on whether or not the court should hook more like america? guest: justice stephens with his last day-to-day was asked about that has month at a judicial conference i attended and he said, look her is overwhelming nine of us. there's only so many types you can have. he's the only member that serve during the world. that was world war ii. also the only member right now from the midwest. the only member that did anticipate tend a law school
affiliated an ivy league college and some point people point out. overwhelming protestant. great to have one of everyone but there's only nine of us. host: 111 supreme court justices in the history. of all of them have served, grown up east of the mississippi river. 15 come from the state of new york. dallas? catherine, republican on with the "wall street journal". caller: hi. am ion? i'm rebe back to either the roberts or senate hearings and the democratic senators were so vicious that the wives of one of the roberts or case started walking outcrying. am i remember this right?
guest: that was al i.t. o. what happened is that senator lindsay graham a republican from south carolina was complaining about what he said - you just mentioned. he was come maintaining at the democrats were unfairly beating up on justice alito and he was talking about that. as he described that. she began to cry and that was a memorable moment and symbolized for a lot of people how political these proceedings are and how, when the outcome seems pretty determined, the politicians try to use the opportunity and the spotlight to score political points that resonate with the hope with voters. host: of 111 su dream court justices. 18 attended and 14 graduated from harvard law school. next call? harrisberg, pennsylvania.
caller: good morning. he works for the "wall street journal". is that owned by merdock? well enough said that. i think elena kagan deserves to be on the supreme court and i find it eye ron tick court is lowed to the right. know body wants to use the term hypocrite. i think the president did a heck of a job nominating her. host: greg? >> i have one quick question. i know she hasn't had any experience sitting as judge. i'm wondering because she was appointed by the democrats if they're going to have a lot of political polls on the supreme court and if president barack obama appointed her.
obama appointed her. he doesn't have a very good track record. host: who doesn't have a good track record? what do you mean? caller: obama with his decision-making and cabinets appointments and stuff? host: all right. guest: well what kind of influence does a president have on appointees once they're confirmed to the supreme court. history show, not much. in philosophy they tend to share the president's philosophy but when specific issues come up that involve the president the record is somewhat different. president clinton had two nominees. ginsberg and briar but when the paula jones case came, he wanted that stalled until he left office they both voted against him. nixon has four appointees on the court and water gate came up and
he resisted turning over tapes to the special prosecutor his appointees voted against his interest as well. once they're on the court, they do become their own people, even if it's likely they'll share the general philosophy of the president who selected them since that's why they were selected. host: from the "new york post". supreme court nominee. elena kagan came under fire for having called israeli chief justice an air on barak her judicial hero. barack that served as israel's top justice has been a controversial figure for his views that the judiciary should trump all branches of government? are you familiar with this? guest: right. he was the chief justice of israel for a decade where they had a number of cases. when he visited harvard law
school she gave him a great introduction which the dean tends to do when a prominent visitor comes to a school. barak was a chief justice in a different country with a different legal system and there's not much we can draw from the host saying nice things about a guest energy when he comes from a foreign country. i think that even conservative member of the own supreme court say the legal and constitutionle situation in israel is different from the united states. what's appropriate for our country may not be appropriate for theirs or other countries and vice versa. having intellect call regard for what a judge in a different system does based on the situation there i don't think tells us how one would approach legal issues on our own third or fourth or fifth amendment.
host: next call. pennsylvania. michael, republican? >> thank you for taking my call. i think that elena kagan will be a really good supreme court justice. i've read her views in sections of the newspaper and it's going to be very - i think she's going to be a good justice. host: michael your calling on the republican line? caller: yes. host: what makes you think she'll be a good justice. caller: well, her values on most of the issues i agree with her on. i think she'll do a really good job. host: thanks so much. there hasn't been many fireworks about the nomination. has it been in your view from
what you observed have you seen it well handled by the obama white house? or is it because of the character of elena kagan? guest: well, i think that the white house has done a good job in managing the nomination. there's certain things they need to do and rolling out information and a ranging support and so forth. they were slightly more open about this than the - than i've seen them last year and the bush administration before that. but they did select someone who really didn't have a lot of exposed area to fire at. she's a has been pointed out was not not a jump and does not have opinions to dissect in retrospect. she's not an elected official with votes to criticize. as a scholar she's not written that much. the stuff she's written has been at least, you know the main article was along and not
incredibly gripping account of administrative law based on add min administration in the clinton administration. so there really isn't a huge record to attack, which is in a fact what's she's a tacked for. in that, now she's had the good fortune of there being a lot of other issues floating around that have seized public attention. host: what will happen today. guest: before we get to the hearing, we'll have the has day of the current session of the supreme court. that is actually more important to some of us. we afford very big opinions. one is on gun rights and the financial oversight enacted after the enron o la can lapse business methods. there's huge issues there, other
across the street at the senate, there's going to be a lot of speeches and so we'll an opening statement from elena kagan pledging fidelity of the law many reverence to constitution and a bunch of senators talking about the same thing and either saying she presents that or threatens that virtue. ho host will you be there? guest: well, i'll be at the supreme court first. may have to let my colleagues handle the opening day at the confirmations hearing but i'll be there tomorrow and for the rs of the week? host: you can watch it at your desk if your interested at c-span.org at our supreme court hearing hub. you can control the cameras and you can watch, there's a camera focused on elena kagan and or you can watch the actual
television feed. georgia. wayne, independent line. hi. caller: good morning c-span. i think that elena kagan will pau a terrible judge. i think she'll be in the line of justice sotomayor, extreme left and doesn't have much of a paper trail. but we do know that she's became active about kick tag military off campus at harvard and the gay marriage issue. as we look at sotomayor, without the paper trail, you basically have to look at who did president barack obama select the first time? justice sotomayor, her background, pretty obviously. i mean, she attended to the
supreme court. nine of them were reversed when she was a circuit or public court judge. she also a member of the extreme left wing latino group that believes that - host: she's already on the court - call cow yes, but peter, the only way we can - the only way we can um... we got to make a decision on elena kagan, we have to look at who has he selected before and so we go to you know what has thh selection been. we know very little about this woman. that's probably one of the reasons why she was selected for this position. she's far to the left and she doesn't have a history. but she going to be a lefty there's no doubt. host: you remember the vote on
sotomayor? guest: think she got 68 confirmation votes around there. high 60's? but i think just a thought in the callers point of view, the outcome of that form of critique is that by being nominated by president barack obama you're automatically disqualified from being on the supreme court. seems to be the lo dpik if obama nominates someone that in itself is proof someone isn't the deserved to be nominated. as senator graham tomorrow south carolina said, during the alito hearings that elections of consequences and the president gets to pick what he wants an and that's why the democrats should get in line and vote for alito. he said is same thing during the sotomayor's confirmations. this president gets to a point
someone unless there's an outrageous why you should vote fence them you should sort of go along. that's how some republicans view it and some democrats too. host: next call from pennsylvania. democrat line? call cow this woman scares the be jesus out of me for two reasons. first and for most, her adamant - stop against the second amendment right of this country and her views on foreign courts decisions. nothing to do with this country. people got to remember one thing. without your second amendment rights you have no first amendment rights. host: what have you heard or read that elena kagan has said about the second amendment? caller: she does not believe in
it. host: where did you read that. caller: either on c-span or one of the local channels here in the state of pennsylvania. host: what is elena kagan said about the second amendment that you know of? guest: there's only two things can i think of that deal with gun issues. one was when she was a law clerk for justice marshall there was a challenge that a criminal brought to a position for a firearms in the district of column i and he asserted the second amendment meant he should have his conviction reversed. she wrote in a brief memo that she was quote, not sympathetic to this line of argument. it's hard to draw inference from that because at the time, know courts really considered that the second amendment was a threat to district of colombia
firearms laws. in 1939 the supreme court had last heard a second amendment case and rejected the challenge to the argument that the second amendment prevented the federal government from restricted sawed-off shot fun. since that there had never been a regulation to any gun law that got anywhere. hard to know if she was reciting the law at the time or was going beyond it but the court didn't even take the case, so it's really hard to know what she meant. i'm certain she'll be asked about it this week. we might learn about whether or not she was viewing that as a crack pot lawsuit which the supreme gets a lot of petitions about. second issue came up in the clinton administration when they dealt with regulation of assault weapons and machine guns and so fourth. issue pushed heavily by senator feinstein and elena kagan was
involved in a lot of the political debates in the height house about what kind of done regulations for the importation of assault weapons they can get by congress. what the impact might be on the president's agenda and so forth. the supreme court hasn't said anything about the a right to assault weapon and machine guns or anything. the only thing they've said two years ago is there a rights in the district of colombia to have a handgun in one's home for personal protection. we don't know what she thought about that decision. but just to tie in what we'll learn today. the supreme court is likely to say if that applies nation wide as well as in the district of colombia. what she does think about the second amendment, those are the two clues and their very related to the constitutionle issue. we'll see a lot of questions about "this week in the d-league" week. host: next call.
maryland. erik, republican, hi. caller: yes. i'm calling in about your lindsay graham comment. i think i take exception about elections result. republicans in the senate take this business as usual attitude. with nominee from this president in that the white house we're dealing with. they are fools because this man is a transformational president. this is not a business as usual country club setting with a senate just gives and asked appointed questions and you know, yeah and concerned about what the thoughts are. this is a man that's transformational they need all 41 to put her down. bye. guest: it takes some civil majority to confirm someone to any federal office including the supreme court.
the senate has a filibuster rule and with 60 votes, you can overcome that. and the democrats and independents have 59. in theory if all republicans ban together to fill i buster her. we'll note however elena kagan is introduced as judiciary committee by her two home state senators. john kerry and john or scott prawn. i don't know senator brown said whether or not to support her or not but would could suggest he's open to the idea if he's introducing her to the judiciary committee. >> what has she been doing a few monthing a? guest: elena kagan, like other nominees has been practices for this week of you tickses. she has been brushing up on the many different kinds of questions she's likely to face. brushing up on legal precedents
and studying prior confirmation hearings. she's been taking a bunch of questions by advisors and aids trying tougher her up. this is something pretty much all nominees too do. just cities stephens. old buddy held up in a courtroom spent the weekend preparing but didn't go the elaborate preparations that's common in some ways it's like preparing for a supreme court argument sit elf. advocates like to practice and imagine what type of questions will be asked and try to get ready and someone the best way to answer it. she's practicing for the debate championship. next call. george, independent line? caller: right there. do we expect a big battle over her and what are her odds to get
in? the other thing i wanted to say is who really benefit. are we making laws more convoluteed so we need a ph.d.. who's benefitting from that? guest: doesn't have a ph.d. but a jury risk doctor and p h.d.'s get offended by that. real ph.d.'s don't consider it a serious type of degree. i'm kidding of course. she's a law degree. three years after college required for that and mass a masters degree tomorrow oxford. the terms in whether or not there will be a big battle will be a lot of smoke and heat. i don't think there will be a lot of fire. we'll heara lot of political statements from both republicans and democrats trying think sproeters will find significance that make them care about this. thinking about issue and they
hope they want to vote for the team in november. in term of the there being a real doubt about whether this nominee will get through or not, i think that again, barring some incredibly unexpected perry mason moment where someone comes in wwth photographic evidence that elena kagan is a robot brought to our planet by aliens intent on taking over our entire solar system. barring something like that. odds are she's going to make it through. 59 democrats and independent as lioned with president. 41 republicans. at least some of them visibly pimp a thet toik hep visiblysympathetic. there's going obstacle almost 60 votes to break any fill buster attempt. >> florida. democrat line?
cal caller: in regards to the military recruiters from the school, all law school deans to my understanding a cross the country did what she did except for some of the fundamentalist christian law schools because of where their stands are with day marriage and they could still go in if they had funding for testimony veteran's association, as i understood it and the two other points is i've heard opponents she doesn't have a paper trail but i thought she had tens of thousands of archives from the time in the clinton white house and the fact she hasn't been a judge would not make her a good supreme court justice. maybe i'm mistaken and you could answer this but i thought thurgood marshall and bran energy where not justices. >> thurgood marshall was before he became a supreme court judge.
he had been a circuit court judge and also solicitor general. brenis was not. the last one that was a confirmed without being a judge was a pointed 1971. nixon administration official. association justice and elevateed by president reagan to be chief justice in 1986. in terms of her - the military recruiting issue at harvard law school. we'll indeed hear a lot about that this week. she'll be asked to explain what happened. it's true the legal professional in law schooled had a non-discriminatory policy they required all to accept to use career services facilities. military under don't ask, don't tell law could not comply so the question was, was a federal law
requiring that military recruiters get equal access to other employers being complied with? and if it wasn't was the law itself constitutionle. elena kagan was quite opposed and called that law a moral in justice of the first order and expressed her and the schools in legal professions opposition to that form of legal discrimination. whether it was legitimate disagreement or cross the line as a matter of opinion. believe it crossed the line for some. democrats say did it not only cross the line, but his t histo that is vindicated that policy. we'll see that issue rematched in some detail this week.
host: "wall street journal". thank you for helping us preview the hearings that begin at 12:30. watch them on c-span 3 live or go to firstname.lastname@example.org/elena kagan and watch live on demand any time. on demand coverage includes highlights from each day's cove ra coverage. you'll get real time updates from c-span approvers of legal terms. links to documents related to scheduling information and more. you can follow what people are saying about the hearings on twitter or join the conversation using our facebook account. additional documents reference links and other helpful material will be available at c-span.org/kagan.
up next a discussion with the former deputy national security advisor on extremism. he served in the bush administration but first, news update from c-span radio. >> it's 8:34 in washington d.c. and in the headlines as though we've been telling you all morning. robert byrd of west virginia steered billions of dollars to his home state died this morninging in fairfax virginia. he was a longest serving member of congress in history holding his seat for more than 50 years. he was the senate majority leader for six of the year and was third in line to secession to president behind speaker pelosi. with the death of robert byrd. new jersey democratic senator is now the senate's oldest member. over the weekend he said he's not cancer free. the ad mirl in charge of the oil spill response is headed back to
the gulf today. day after mississippi's governor said he would press bp for more help because oil is now washing up on the shore line of his state. mean while. the cost of the company's response to the gulf oil spill has reached about 2.6 billion dollars. in a statement released to day bp said the cost include spill response, containment. relief well drilling. grants to gulf states and claims paid and federal costs. bp said it's received more than $80,000 claims so far and made almost 41,000 payments totally 128 million dollars. that figure does not include the fund for gulf damages it created this month. meanwhile they're also denying reports that ceo. tony hayward is re-assigning. those reports coming from russia's news agency and finally in chicago, the defense gets it's chance to question a key
prosecution witness in a corruption trial. the witness said the ousted illinois governor wanted to parlay his power to fill barack obama's seat. the one time chief-of-staff testified last week as prosecutors tried to show jurors the defendant shout cash and a well paying job for his position as illinois government. those are some of the latest headlines on c-span radio. >> c-span is ow available in over 100 million homes bringing you a direct link to politics, history and nonfiction books all as a public service. created my america's cable companies. >> let me say to the american people, this is a change in personnel but not in policy. benural policy.
patraeus helped design the strategy in mace. >> learn more. general david petraeus has been on c-span more than 40 times. watch his appearances on-line any time at the c-span video library. washington, your way. >> beginning to day, watch the confirmation hearings for elena kagan live on c-span three. c-span radio and at c-span dot or dp and see reairs on c-span two. to learn more about the nation's highest court read the latest book. supreme court. candid conversation with all justices. providing unique insight about the court. and as an e book. internet and information service. tele communications. tonight a look at the f.c.c.s
efforts to reclassify the internet. our guests, the communicators on c-span two. "washington journal" continues. host: the former deputy national security advisor for the bush administration of counterterrorism and he's joining us to talk about violent extremism and u.s. efforts for the counter terrorist up. in a recent opportunity ed. who the energy in the war on terror nd he writes, in the new national security strategy released recently by the white house the obama administration wants america to remain a nation at war. unfortunately it refused to identify our enemy in this war as what it is. violent islamic extremism. to you agree? guest: i think so, peter. senator lieberman has been a critic in administration for
trying change from the bush years. as to how to describe the nature of the threat. the nature of the ideology in the security strategy you have description of the enemy being al qaida and description of violent extremism and i think what senator lieberman is also touched on in the post fort hood context that's there's seems to be a desire to not name the enemy in terms of the religious dimensions of it. not to say islam is the enemy. we want to get away from that perception. the reality that the al qaida enemies they have and the facilities and the radical individuals drawn to the narrative and ideology have an islamic ideology and narrative tied to the movement and activities. senator lieberman's point is simple. if you don't identify your enemy
you're not able to fight it well or confront it. i agree with them. i think there's some me right to that and i believe it's also important given the fact that al qaida and the threat we face is morphing. we have to be clear about the nature we're facing. host: you say the obama administration is changing the lexicon. are they changing strategy as well? guest: i talked about this since getting out of the government. there's been fundamental continuity for the most part for me. i think you see them aggressive and taughting again the number of al qaida leaders we've captured and killed through the years. the most recent number three. the tension policy, though in some way changed with the executive order on guantanamo
and others with respect to techniques. not much of a change in terms of what's happening not only in guantanamo but elsewhere you have basically the notion of a low defense. the bush administration approach to homeland security. there's fundamental continuity. some has been in how the legislation talked about the administration and this is one example of that. >> what about pakistan's efforts to mediate and work with the taliban? guest: clearly known that packston has it's own long standing interest in afghanistan. seeing them as defense in depth for it's conflict against india and national security. pakistan a key player with deep relationships with the taliban dating back to the start of the taliban and afghanistan, has relationships with the network in north the western tribal
areas. it's clear player and in some respects has to be a player at the table. i think the question for the obama administration is what kind of player is it being? is it serving it's own purposes projected for a post american pull out in afghanistan and there by making deals that we don't think are all that helpful? or is u it a constructive player with karzai and those willing to reconcile to reconcile with kabul. is it a constructive player in your view? i think it can be and has been to pakistan's credit and you'll hear this from their ambassador here and others. they have been quite aggressive and realize it's a threat to them. they felt it in their heartlands not just in the western part of pakistan. number of security officials and hundreds over the last few
years. they have been a constructive player. that said there are deep and historical ties with groups and different networks. dating back to the afghan day. there are parts of the pakistan system that, in some ways have been hedging bets for a time with afghanistan wondering what will happen and whether or not stability can actually take place and what the roll of the u.s. is. the question of the deadline has really confounded the pakistan people and they've taken as a signal we don't have same power in afghanistan we've talked about. host: talking about counterterrorism. violence extremism with a man who serveded a deputy national security advisors for president bush and served for the treasury department and deputy consistent to the president as well. so throughout the bush
administration you were there. guest: right i was brought into the bush treasury department early on and served there for secretary o'neal and secretary snow and did so with great pride. happy to do that. we built the office that now does all the sanctions that's in the middle of all this iran and north korea debate and i'm quite proud. moved to the white house to work in the second term on the counterterrorism strategy. i think actually we did great work. those open and honest and objective about where we took counterterrorism would say we did good work look at the ideology problem. it's har. president bush gave a speech in october of 2005. we struggled with what to call this. president bush even in the speech used several terms. said some people call its lambic
radicalism and some people call its lambic fascism and some call it jihadism. but it's an ideology that we're at an war with an enemy the thus the fight. now i think the obama administration as well. host: call in now. democrats. (202) 737-0002. independents, (202) 628-0205. speak a little bit about domestic terrorism before we go to all calls. guest: there's been an emergence of domestic radicalization. understanding it's been so many prop innocent cases had in the media and understood the case in the new york subway case. the david headley case the individual tie to the attack. two new jersey man caught going to somalia.
the list goes on and on and you understand why people think this is a new phenomena but think over the last eight years to the numerous plots and investigations involving american citizens unfortunately. badei. the lockwana six. i think we tend to forget and the media plays them down so it's not a new phenomena. i think one of the things we have to worry about is that the narrative of the extremist. the narrative that says the u.s. is at war with islam and it's a muslims duty to defend fellow muslims and al qaida is the vanguard of that movement that heroic narrative that gives meaning to many people's lives is actually growing in appeal in the united states. that's something we hadn't seen that much.
three factors. one, starting to see more clusters of individuals in the u.s. drawn to this. you look at the american so mali cases. numbers of individuals going to fight. drawn to the idea. second and third generation americans falling to play. you look at the north virginia five as a good example of that and finally individuals willing, not just to fight a broad but join enter ris organizations and actually individuals willing to come band and fight fellow citizens. shazad in time square. first call comes from sacramento california. republican line. caller: thank you c-span and hello, mark. my main question is throughout all of this. what's going to happen to the result of this? there's a lot of democratization
or this going on all around the world and i mean, how do you think it's going to be influenced guy latest situation. >> well speak about the internet when it comes to terrorism. guest: internet is major when you talk about terrorism and violent extremism and the ideology. what you have on the internet is largely a global community or sense of a global community. some call it the virtual face where extremist. the american newmanic can get on and not only attracted a he responsibility but convince them it's a good cause to join. saw in the last internet feed talking to american muslims to fight the oppressive american government and the internet in some ways is a vehicle for radical ideal logs and communities of interest to feed on the narrative and the self and also to feed a sense of
emotional attachment to the narrative. what you see on the internet is use of images quite graphically. quite effectively to make the case that the u.s. is not in the moral power in di the middle ea. the internet is an action sell rant and va individuals are now drawn to others and eventually be drawn to other conspiracies to prevent attacks. host: should there beacon troll of the site? guest: there certainly should be monitoring and the u.s. government does that with suspect site and individuals but i think more importantly and this is something a lot of the academic think tanks and others talk about for sometimes you have to find ways to contest ideology. in some ways a lot of the sites and communities of interest.
chat rooms have just been perpetuating the same nonsense and violence extremism without being contested. three logically or morally. one of the questions for the government is how to contest an ideology virtually on the internet? how do you do it as a government dealing with a nonstate ideology and nonstate actors with religious components to it. that's something new for the u.s. government. host: next call from connecticut. go ahead. democrat line? caller: good morning. first point is, you know you mentioned joe lieberman. you know anything that joe lieberman has to say about anything is kind of right out of a back so you can't give anything that he says, he's basically an israeli mole here in the united states. the second thing is the u.s. to
counter violent extremism goes both ways. there's extreme islamic and there's extreme sooi annism. those in israel are committing crimes every day. just - host: you think this is all about israel? caller: know, just that if the united states does not - when the obama was elected he said when he was running he said he would have a balanced middle east policy and play fair on both sides. then he goes to the apec meeting and has man yumanuels as chief-of-staff. guest: senator lieberman is a great patriot and a lot of people are thinking and saying same things regardless of background. i agree with senator lieberman.
so i don't agree with that. i think one of the things that often gets lost in the u.s. counterterrorism policy is of then the fact that we often focus use on muslim. if you look at the state department's foreign terrorist organization list the groups we consider a threat that are groups that committee terrorism a broad. those are groups across the board of all stripes you have the bass terrorist group. jewish groups involved and the liberation tiger group that's now defunked and,pand,pkt. the list is consistent in terms of how we view the threat from terrorism. i think the point senator lieberman make and i agree with is that, you have to be clear about this particular brand of
threat. no doubt there's domestic violence extremist and threats. one only needs to look at the oklahoma city bomb together look at that. these individuals that have been radicalized, that's violent islamic or islamist extremist. not islam bow particular brand of extremist violent threat. host: what was your specific portfolio? guest: working with counter terrorist up. i worked with homeland security and the president on setting our strategy. i'm very proud of the work we did. folks look back at 2006 strat fri6 strategy. i had other transitional threat
terrorism, money laundering. international crime. probably the best job i'll have in my life and an on or the serve in that capacity. host: ambassador of israel to the su &. was quoted as saying there's a rift or a drift or a change in u.s. policy toward israel and that it was monumental. shift or a monumental rift. is, do you see a shift in u.s. policy towards israel with the obama administration and what do you think of it? guest: i'm hopeful so i classify more of a drift but i do see very troubling signs. israel is our ally as a democratic state. one we have had since it's founding an and sense that i think the israelis beat in particular, is that they have
lost the support from the u.s.. doesn't mean the u.s. has to be a yes man and we have to agree with everything but it's often as my mom would say. it's know that the what, it's the how. how are you dealing with you're a lyes and i think some of the public reproach and some of the things. israel was called out in the nonproliferation treaty. iran wasn't but israel was and we allowed that to happen and obviously with the gaza, flotilla incident. many have said allowed ourselves join with the jack els hauling against israel. i think it's also brought a problem with other friends and a lyes that don't feel as well respected or attended to in this administration. look at countries like the, uk. colombia. eastern allies and talk to representatives privately and
they're somewhat ignored and not appreciated. we have to tend to friends as well as our enemies. host: last crew sees, new mexico. will bear you're on. caller: thanks for having me on. i have to say to call israel a democratic state is one of the most pre postrouse things i've heard. you look around at other nations and almost every other nation and their stance upon the state of israel and the horrible things that the atrocities that they've committed in just the last ten or fifteen years. there's only one country that stands in opposition to the united states security counsel of the united states. guest: not sure what the o say. i think they're an important ally. one thing that's important to note looking at the transition between the bush administration and obama administration.
you have continuity in the notion of a two straight solution. there's no question the united states and u.s. policy now stands for a free palestinian state. i sit on the american charity for palestine ear trying to make that reality possible and so i think. you know, no one is pauly annish about the problems but we need to be realistic with our friends and israel. >> is a two state solutionness for national security? guest: i think so. at the end of the day peace in the middle east can be a cornerstone for other national security interests. if you look at the extremist narrative the extremist tend to use anything as an excuse. they use the palestinian cause and situation and some of the images and brutality we see in that part of the world as todayer for the narrative.
so especially looking at al qaidas narrative. they've stopped talk about iraq. that's become a failure for them but they have talked about palestine as central issue. i'm not saying we give the enemy a heck lers veto. i've cautioned people with that. we shouldn't define our strategy by just what the enemy will say or do, but we should be aware that our policies can have long-term positive impact and i think a peaceful solution would do that. i'm doing a host of thing's. with the center for strategic international study and senior national security analyst for cbs news so i encourage folks to watch and a private consultant working with various companies here in the region and around the world and do a lot of speaking, which i enjoy. i miss friends in the government but i'm enjoying time with the
family. host: keith, in houston. republican. caller: good morning. i have a few questions. first after reading general mcchrystals article i wanted to ask your opinion on the transfer from general mcchrystal to pay try us and on the fight in afghanistan as a former army person, served in the military for eight years seems we're trying to fight aware in afghanistan where we're not allowed to kill the terrorists when they're giving out medals for nonengagement in combat. host: got it. thanks keith. guest: good question. i'm friends with mcchrystal and i think he is a hero and a patriot. most americans won't know ever because of his work with special forces around the world over the last eight years.
he's been a remarkable general and what the enemy wasn't able to do. news article was to take out one of the premier american generals in the fight. that said, i think the president did what he had to do and naming general a try as was probably the best decision. he was mcchrystal's boss. and the architect of the counter insurgency, turned things around in iraq and that is political weight here and a broad to make sure people understand that we're not missing a beat with respect to afghan strategy that's difficult problem. it's different from iraq and counter insurgency unfortunately starts to look a little like nation building which is something administration is still struggling with. host: last call. louisville? caller: i have a question. that's, well i have two questions and a statement. first question is about nuclear
weapons and this is kind of a short two part question. first of all, was george bush ever considering using nuclear weapons against afghanistan or any other place during 9/11 as far as you know? and at what point in time, like let's say - you know, nuclear weapon was used against the united states by a muslim country, would be we be willing to use a weapon against them? host: what's your statement host: what's your statement john, we're running out of time.
those kinds of states, how you deter -- how you deter as tens of states, at proliferation, and you still have to have eight nuclear option. -- a nuclear option. and you have to find ways of deterring non-state actors that are part of prolifeeation to terrorist groups. zarate, thank you for being on "washington journal." journal." we will turn into u.s.-mexico relations. we will be right back.
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watch appearances at hearings, briefings, and other events online anytime at the c-span video library. it is washington, it your way. >> beginning today, watch the confirmation hearings for supreme court nominee elena taken live on c-span 3, c-span radio, and c-span.org, and watch reairs every night on c-span2. read our latest book, "the supreme court," with conversations with justices active and retired. is the internet an information service, telecommunications, or something else? tonight, a look at the fcc's efforts to reclassify the internet with two members of the house telecommunications subcommittee. "washington journal" continues. host: "washington journal" is
pleased to introduce you to alex lee, a career state department official and currently the director of the mexican affairs office. what is that office and where does it fall in the state department? guest: good morning, peter. it is in the department of state, a large office that basically focuses on all aspects of our bilateral relationship with mexico. it is one of our largest geographic offices. we have a total of 17 people working on economics, merida initiative, border issue, environmental issues, climate change negotiations, a whole variety, anything that you can imagine in the bilateral relationship, we are involved in one way or the other. host: 1 president call the route of mexico -- when president
calderon a week ago said that america is the biggest drug addict, and do you agree with them? guest: there is no question that we have responsibility. the u.s. demand for drugs, drugs going through mexico or coming from mexico -- one of the things that represents the historic character of the merida initiative is that both sides recognize the responsibility, need each other to solve address the problem, and we have no difficulty in assessing our part of the responsibility. host: when you say that, as mexico accepted its part of the responsibility? guest: very much so. when president calderon decided to take on the cartels, he did so the district, to take on a very, very huge challenge -- he did something historic, to take
on a very, very huge challenge, and the effect of that decision has really forced the cartel to be put on the defensive. it has initiated a law enforcement revolution in mexico, and is open doors for bilateral cooperation in a way that never existed before. host: we only have a short time with alex lee. the drug issue and the issue of the border at people coming over the border -- are they related? guest: not really, except in the sense that the cartels will go into all forms of illegal activity. primarily transnational smuggling operations.
they will go wherever the profit is. drug trafficking -- but they have branched out into a kidnapping, murder for hire, extortion wherever they can make gains, they will go into it. host: camden, new jersey, republican moder -- republican line. caller: for me, immigration and lawlessness along the border or the priority for me. we have been invaded by terrorists, i don't care whether mexican or not. we have to take control of our country again. my understanding is that there are parts of arizona where the government is telling americans not to go because it is too dangerous. we have to do something about this now.
what of the boy to do, just laid what are we going to do, just laid down and let these people destroy the country? you have to do something now. you cannot just talk about it and allow this to happen. and you cannot grant amnesty to everybody that wants to come across that border. host: ok. guest: there is no question about it. the most comprehensive solution is immigration reform, and that is something that president obama has pledged to move for when possible. the reality is is along the border, the u.s. government has greatly increased its presence. border patrol, for example, is almost twice what it was for five years ago. the u.s. government, particularly dhs and the
department of justice, are leading a major effort to plus up the personnel and resources assigned all along the border. it is a huge challenge, but i would say that our efforts along the border have produced dividends. less people are coming across the border. you can see it in the numbers between to designate -- between 2008 and 2010, a reduction in apprehended.who were not the number of people coming across the border has really been reduced, and a major part of that is the law enforcement efforts of dhs and department of justice. host: what about reports -- when you hear reports, if he would speak to the reports of potential mexican troops crossing the border, u.s. troops crossing into the mexican border. is this happening?
guest: there are many places across the border that are not marked. over the years, and just about every year, there are instances in which one side or the other crosses over, they recognize a mistake, and they go back and there is protocol for addressing these issues. this is really not a major issue. we have systems in place in order to mitigate and reduce these efforts. host: next call for alex lee of the state department is from new jersey. don, you with us? you know the rules, you have got to turn down the volume on your tv. we go to arizona, sierra vista. go ahead, marcus. caller: i have been watching c- span. i am calling from southern arizona, less than 20 miles from
the border. host: all right, what is your view? caller: yes, i've been watching. that is correct. a lady that just recently called, i tend to agree with her. i believe that this country has been invaded. i considered illegal aliens terrorist insurgents. host: what about terrorism across the border. are you finding this? guest: we have not been fighting terrorism across the border. clearly, there is that possibility. we are very alert to that. but fundamentally, it is a law enforcement issue. smuggling, whether it is human trafficking, narcotics trafficking. we are also trying to address the south toward downed flows of weapons -- south word-doubt
flows of weapons and all cash, and we have made a commitment to the mexican government that we would try to interject, and we have been increasingly successful at detecting -- in interdicting these southward flows. but people ought to recognize that the borders are indispensable to national prosperity. each day, over $1 billion of trade across that border. each day, over 1 million people crossed that border. we need tough open, secure -- we need to have open, secure borders that facilitate trade and travel. it is a balance that we need to keep on working at. host: do you believe a fence is helpful? guest: we believe is helpful in certain areas, but only a partial answer. it may be helpful in an urban
area. congress approved 660 miles of fence, but we have to recall that the border is almost 2000 miles long. host: next call comes from spring hill, illinois. caller: good laws and enforcement of them are more effective than a fence. [unintelligible] 20 miles from here -- [unintelligible] whatever the -- you know, the thing is that both to the immigration and the drug problems are perfect examples of why people like robert byrd, in office for 50 years, they
perpetuate these problems perpetuate these problems because they are so entrenched. these guys that come over the border to work at been promoted by these long-term career politicians who perpetuate their careers -- host: all right, we got the point. guest: well, again, i think everybody agrees that the solution to illegal immigration is immigration reform. we need to figure out a way how to legalize those that are in this country, we need to figure out a way of ensuring that immigrants that come in to the united states fill jobs that are regulated so that we don't have an underground economy. i couldn't agree more that we need to address the demand for drugs in this country.
there are a variety of excellent programs, educational, targeted to teenagers, targeted to young adults, that help address this challenge. host: what is the mexican economy like right now? guest: the mexican economy last year was really hit hard by our economic downturn. their economy is so integrated into hours -- ours. fortunately, this year they are showing a rebound, they are showing growth again, and there is confidence that this trajectory will continue. host: democrat -- florida, democrat. caller: if they did not hire them, they would not be able to come over. that is what my questions.
another, if we legalize drugs, but we would not have the problem of al qaeda, because they would not be funded by drugs. guest: on immigration reform, it is clear that one element of any immigration reform needs to address the role of businessess in in this process. on reducing demand, i really think, and we really think, and more importantly, the obama administration really thinks, that the most effective way to address this challenge is the oot education -- is through education, educational processes, providing health benefits. this is a way to address this particular challenge. host: how many mexicans cross
the border every day to work legally? guest: i do not know. host: redding, pennsylvania, republican. caller: i beg to differ with you when you said this is a bilateral agreement, meaning mexico and the united states. it is not a bilateral agreement. it is unilateral. the united states is doing -- we the people are assigned to close our borders because we are a sovereign nation. i refer to one instance -- lenin, when he was in zurich in switzerland, did not know the russian revolution was occurring. the reason he went to switzerland was because they spoke many different languages and he sought out a " diversity." you out th -- have the
bosnians --, host: take us home here. caller: my contention is that it was set up by the world bank, david rockefeller, to make as one nation -- make us one nation, with canada, which is a socialist nation -- host: we are talking about the north american union br. we always get north american union calls. are you behind the north american union, the jumbled and behind all this? -- the gentleman behind all this? guest: we need to recognize the importance that the mexican and canadian economy have for national prosperity. just talking about mexico, 22
states depend on mexico as their first or second largest foreign source for their exports. texaco itself -- mexico itself is our third largest trade partner. canada is, depending on how you total it, the first resected. -- the first or second grade both of these countries are absolutely indispensable for national prosperity. the produce things that are incorporated in our manufacturing base, which are re-exported to the world, and our ability to use lower manufacturing costs in mexico makes many of our businesses globally competitive. we really are intertwined economically to a remarkable extent with our neighbors. host: we did not get quite a direct answer about the north american unit, and i want to
make sure just because we will spend the next 20 minutes talking about this but is there an effort to unite canada, the united states, and mexico? guest: of course not. there is just an agreement to make sure that the agreements we fulfilled under nafta agreed to by all parties. we are trying to promote law enforcement cooperation. the reality is that these are three sovereign, independent countries. we try to focus on the areas in which there is a convergence of interest. there are many issues in which each of the countries have a different point of view. host: have there been discussions about one currency? discussions about one currency? no, -- guest: no,
there has never been any discussion of one currency. host: will in atlanta. caller: thank you. the graphic on the screen says his name is edward lee. host: right, that is his official name. the graphic should say it alex lee as well. caller: since you are the mexican desk, this national plan for conquest -- you could get a copy on amazon.com -- the roman catholic bishops conference -- its outlets in 36 pages in spanish and english -- it out lines in 36 pages in spanish and english out illegal immigration should be considered a blessing by the public church -- by the catholic church.
we have a congress that is 1/3 roman catholic, a supreme court that is majority roman catholic, which give us the -- which gave us the abominations of bush v gore and citizens united -- how they plan to take over our country by giving them legal aid and registering to vote. guest: first of all, i am aware of this particular document. i will see if i can track it down -- i am not aware of this particular document. i will see if i could check it out. -- if i can track it down. i always think of ourselves as an agent of immigrants. -- not nation of immigrants. we need to figure out how to make a -- i always think of ourselves as a nation of immigrants. we need to figure out how to
make it work for all americans. make it work for all americans. host: sylvia in philly. caller: good morning. my name is sylvia, and it is a name that launched my great- grandmother -- that belonged to my great-grandmother, who is full blooded cherokee indian. i hear you talk about an invasion from the mexican s -- from the mexicans. do you remember that california belonged to mexico, and parts of the touch it along to the charity and the suit and so on and so hundred -- cheorkee and sioux and so on and so on. this is not your country.
this is our country did you want to talk about legalizing other people who were here before you invaded this country and stole our land. none of you are legal immigrants due to the fact that my people and the mexicans never handed out legal citizenship papers to you. therefore, when he started handing out papers -- when you started handing out papers through ellis island, and you cannot bequeathed the someone something that you do not assess yourself -- you cannot bequeath it to someone something that you do not possess yourself. host: anything you want to respond to there? guest: no. host: next call. caller: i kind of agree with that soviet, b -- agree with
sylvia, but i never hear about a canadian innovation and that order is 10 times -- the let that -- that border is 10 times the the length. it seems to me that if people in mexico had a living wage where they are not starving, they would not have to come to america. i think the immigration problem is a symptom, not a problem. guest: i think that is an excellent point. president calderon and his administration are very much committed to promoting mexican growth through increasing trade with the u.s. and elsewhere as a way of raising living standards in mexico. one of the achievements of naphtha has -- of nafta has been, particularly in northern mexico, to raise income levels
so that monterey, the manufacturing sector in northern mexico, has one of the highest standards of living in all of mexico. that is really kind of the goal of the calderon administration. i could not agree with you more that mexican national prosperity is not only good for mexico, because it reduces the push factors for immigration, but is also good because it creates a larger and more vibrant market for our goods, so that we can have a more robust, two-wage rate pattern -- trade pattern. host: are the illegal immigration problems between the u.s. and canada? guest: note, it is not a major issue -- no, it is not a major issue -- no, it is not a major issue. you have a developing country
and a developed country. these push-pull factors are clearly in play, which don't necessarily exist between two mature, developed economies like the canadian and u.s. economy. host: alex lee has been our guest, director of the mexican affairs office for the state department. thank you very much. half an hour left in "washington journal." we will continue to take your calls about the passing of senator byrd. our west virginia line is set aside. if you live in west virginia, we want to hear from you. we will take those calls come up until the end of "the journal,"
and then the elena kagan hearings are starting to eat and watch those live at c-span3 or -- are starting. you can watch those live on c- span atthree or -- cspan3 or c- span.org. we will be right back after this news update from c-span radio. >> it is an o'clock 30 in washington, d.c. "politico" is reporting that west virginia gov. joe mention -- manchin will appoint a replacement for senator robert byrd, who died at the age of 92, the longest serving member of congress in history. state law dictates that if the vacancy occurs less than two years and six months before the end of the term, the governor appoints someone to fulfill the remainder of the term and there
is no election. robert byrd's term would expire in january 2013. the ranking republican on the senate panel reviewing the elena kagan's supreme court nomination says he hopes there will not be a filibuster. alabama's jeff sessions tells abc's "good morning america" at a critical question involving the elena kagan is whether she would be driven by political ideology and the court and whether she is, as senator sessions put it, "outside the mainstream of legal thinking." if so, he says she should not be confirmed. but senate judiciary committee chairman patrick leahy says she would be approved with lots of votes. he says her lack of judicial experience is not an issue, citing earl warren, hugo black as justices who did not have that experience.
the hearings will be it live on c-span radio, c-span3 television, and c-span.org. in its last winning -- last meeting until the fall on the last of justice john paul stevens and martin ginsburg, the husband of justice with bitter ginsberg, has died -- the husband of justice with greater ginsburg, has died. ginsburg, has died. - analysts say that much higher spending reflects produce electricity and other utilities. those are some the latest headlines on c-span radio. >> "washington journal"
continues. host: now we want to hear your views on the passing of senator robert byrd, the longest serving member of congress ever. first elected to the senate in 1954. born in 1917. his mother died in the flu pandemic of 1918, and his aunt took him to west virginia and he became robert byrd. in 1946, first elected to the west virginia state legislature, to the u.s. senate in 1954, and was there for the next 56 years. we want to get your views on the passing of senator byrd. the numbers are, the screen. stephen in new york, your first. caller: it is great to see a man that long at a job and take it to his grave with him. god bless them.
-- god bless him. host: he passed away this morning in fairfax, virginia. cleveland, ohio, hi. caller: first, i would like to offer my condolences to the family and to his constituents. i think that the bigger question is how long senator byrd actually serves in the senate. this is a perfect example of why this is a perfect example of why term limitations are something that persons in america should think about seriously. host: west virginia, laurie, please tell us so bling about your views of the -- tell us something about your views of the passing. caller: i am deeply sorry for his family and the state, because we lost a good representative.
i agree with the guy before we said about term limits. if not term limits, then none of the above on the ballot, because with the democratic and republican parties, they put people on there that we will be voting for. there is times when you are definitely not go to vote for the republican, so the only alternative is that democrat. for me, it has been sad, because he has brought a lot for our state. and it will be held out for our governor. he will be appointing someone to take senator byrd's place. but he will probably be the one running in 2013. host: a couple callers earlier, host: a couple callers earlier, laurie, talked about him a putting himself. what do you think about that idea? caller: no, the governor will
not appoint himself. what i think he will do is that there will be someone appointed, but when it comes time to run, it will be our governor. joe manchin has been a great governor. host: has he already taken himself out? caller: no, i don't think so. i am just reading the local papers, and it's been speculated that something would happen to him. that is really what is going to happen. host: if he did appoint himself, what would you think about that? caller: i do not know. joe manchin, as i said, as did a great governor. his uncle served us well as secretary of state. host: wendell henderson did that in minnesota back in the 1970's, i believe it was, and i believe he lasted about your before he got -- he lasted about a year before he got defeated.
this is the article from "the washington post." "with the death of senator byrd, west virginia gov. joe manchin must select an interim replacement for a legend who many in the state and elsewhere consider one of a kind of work in the state law appears to state that the replacement will likely hold the seat for the remainder of the late senator's ninth term through 2012, therefore, the death would not impact the partisan makeup of the chamber, nor depending 2010 elections. however, there is some ambiguity in the law that has left some experts questioning what what happened with the secret state law mandates that if a senate vacancy occurs more than 2 1/2 years before the term is up, a special election should be held to fill the seat.
however, the law states that the special election would only occur after a candidate has been nominated at the primary election next following such a timely filing and has ther eafter been elected. because west virginia held a primary two months ago, many experts worry that provision to mean that the next primary would not be until -- read that provision to mean that the next primary would not be until spring 2012." richmond, virginia, independent line. the passing of senator byrd. caller: this is eric from richmond, virginia. i want to say that i sent my condolences to the family of mr. byrd. host: you have got to turn down the volume, you know the rules. now go ahead did you know what? we will put you on hold. we will come back if you are still there. arlington, virginia, republican.
caller: good morning to i send my condolences a small to the family of robert byrd and all his call -- i sent my condolences as well to the family of robert byrd and all his colleagues. even though i am a republican, i appreciate the bipartisan manner in which he approached the congress, and he is representative of traditional values and people of this all just that america is slowly losing in homes that -- and the beloved it is all just that america is slowly -- beloved nostalgia that america is slowly losing in a homosexual marriage and abortion. i appreciate his traditional nature. host: "it has been my greatest privilege to serve next to robert byrd in the senate. he leaves a void that simply can never be filled, but i am lifted by that knowledge of his deep and abiding faith in god and the
knowledge that he will be reunited with his dear irma." senate majority leader harry was said, "robert byrd's one of the greatest minds the world has ever seen. from his graduation as valid a torrent of his high school class at the age of 16 to his chairmanship of the senate appropriations committee until the age of 91, he mastered everything he touched with great awfulness and skill." there has been republican reaction to send -- great the thoughtfulness and skill." there has been republican reaction to the passing. next call for the passing of senator byrd comes from eric in richmond. go ahead and finish up your statement. caller: i want to send my condolences to the entire family of senator byrd, as well as to the nation, because what i think
of the senator byrd, i think about the transformation of america. it is reported that mr. byrd at one time belonged to the cox clan, but he changed his position and it -- belonged to the ku klux klan, but he changed his position and his attitude towards human beings, and it represents the changing of america. we now have a black president, mr. barack obama. i am so pleased that he change, because everybody can change. people can change, nations can change. his debt to meet represents the transformation of america towards progress of -- his death to meet represents the transformation of america towards progress of living. host: mitch mcconnell says, " senator byrd, a devotion to the u.s. constitution with the
people learning of history to defend the interests of a state and the traditions of the senate." stephen, good morning. caller: that is what i was going to tell you, that america has lost one of its great, great leaders. i mean, you know, it is hard for me to speak right now, because my mother-in-law went to school with his daughters, and we was at the airport 15, 20 years ago, picking her up, coming in from fort lauderdale, and robert byrd was getting ready to fly back to washington from west virginia. he took the early bird flight. carol, my mother-in-law, walked up to him, and she had not seen him in 30 years could walk up to
that man, and he recognized that man, and he recognized her, knew her, in the family, and she asked, "what are you taking the early bird flight?" he said, but " i am taking the early bird flight because i am not going to take first class when everybody else is in hard times, and i'm going to go ahead and take the early bird flight to save america money." he has used his power in a good way. host: did you ever meet him? caller: yes, i talked to him that day there. carol went to school with senator byrd's daughters. host: so who do you think should be your next senator?
have you thought about that at all? caller: somewhat. i know the governor has plans and the future before running for senator. he is the governor, he truly is a good governor. i'm not sure. host: where is milton? caller: directly between huntington and charleston. host: what you do there? caller: i worked in a distribution warehouse. host: thank you for calling. reno, nevada. caller: as far as savinggmoney and flying coach, he also spent millions of dollars on a highway that went nowhere, spent millions of dollars. he is an example of why we have to have term limits.3 years and there was no way he would ever resigned. nobody ever talks about the fact that he belonged to the kkk and
we do not even know what he did and what he belonged to the kkk. i do not think he is as great a man as people say he is. host: born november 20, 1917 in north carolina. his mother died in the flu pandemic, so he was moved to his pandemic, so he was moved to his aunt's house in west virginia, a year old. he was renamed robert byrd that point. he graduated american university he graduated american university in 1963, got his law degree from american university. president kennedy gave him his diploma that year. served in the u.s. house --
served in the state legislature in west virginia from 1946 to 1953, elected to the u.s. senate in 1954. majority leader twice, minority leader once, majority whip for several years as well. serve as president pro tem. on november 18, 2009, he surpassed carl hayden to become the longest serving member in history of progress. wisconsin, linda on the republican -- lyndon on the republican line. caller: i would like to give my condolences to the family. i agree with a number of other colors that there should be term limits. -- other callers that there should be term limits. not only for the president, but for the senate, the house, and the judicial system.
host: why ssould there be term limits? caller: because someone gets so entrenched in the political that they forget that they are actually serving their constituents, not themselves. host: thank you for calling. delaware, carolyn, a democrat. caller: i am calling -- i considered myself one of senator byrd's number one fans. what i call the office, that is how i identified myself. i hold in my hand right now the constitution that his office sent me, 1995 -- the constitution, remember how he always had it in his pocket? host: yes, ma'am. caller: and the declaration of independence. it was this little red book.
i will miss that beautiful, white-haired man. he has gotten more than the whole house and senate will ever know. the united states of america will miss the beautiful white- haired man. i miss him right now so much that i could cry. host: thank you for calling in. joseph on our independent line, washington, d.c. caller: hi, peter. i'm a west virginian. i lived in washington -- live in washington. i have a lot of memories of the senator byrd. i have to say that i will offer condolences to his family and your the historic figure.
-- and him as a historic madri -- a historic figure. not have the same views of robert byrd as the lady who just called it he took too long to change. 1964, he filibustered the civil rights bill. there are the things he could have done for minorities -- other things he could have done for minorities. i think he is called some, with his views on the war of late, -- he evolved some, with his views on the war of late. his relationship with ted kennedy is well documented he is one of the greatest orators the senate ever had. i met him twice. his mind was not as it once was, but he was still brilliant. he pulled together a wonderful
speech to the students at -- he pulled together a wonderful speech. west virginia tech -- 1980 -- i was a yoong turk and and i was boycotting his appearance on campus, because he was a member of the klan. he was a great man, but i hope west virginia now evolves. we have a long way to go on race relations and understanding the world outside of our wonderful five states that border west virginia. let's give him his due and we will mourn his death, but let us if all. peter, i thank you for your time. host: the only senator to of a voted against robert marshall and -- to have voted against thurgood marshall and clarence thomas.
he also endorsed president obama in the primary. illinois, and moll -- emily. caller: i want to offer my condolences to senator byrd. i got an update and it said, "senator byrd has died." "senator byrd has died." i ran downstairs to see the news, and i started crying. host: how old are you? caller: i am 12. host: have you watched the senate before? caller: oh, yeah. i watch a lot. host: what did you like about him? caller: i just think he was very
interesting, how he worked with everyone. he was the oldest senator, i thought it was really cool. host: 92 years old when he died. why do you like politics? what is it about politics that interests you? caller: if you can just make peace with others, you do not have to have a war. you can work together. host: thanks for calling in, thank you for taking the time to call in and learn about senator byrd. if you are interested in seeing the video of senator byrd, we can go to cease and video library. we have all -- the princess but you can do -- to the c-span at a video library. we have all the videos of that senator byrd on the senate floor pre. you can go to c-span.org and go
to the search engine and type in "senator byrd," and you'll get all kinds of video, including his book talks. david -- helps to push the button. sorry about that, david. jerry in north carolina. caller: i got up this morning and was very distressed to see that bob byrd has passed away. i was born and raised in west virginia and i left in 1980. it is amazing what he actually did for the state. a lot of people call it pork but it was in no way pork. a previous caller said he built a road to nowhere. if you have ever been to west virginia, all roads go nowhere.
it is a very still unconnected stage with a lot of tourism, and the reds that he helped build -- roads that he helped to build and improve brought a lot of people in that state. i still get really upset, and i'm still connected to the state, with family and friends .ack theire it really amazes me what is it really amazes me what is considered to be pork , what he brought to the state considered pork, is just so basic he brought some must stop the to the state in the last 20 years. -- he brought so much stuff to the state in the last 20 years. host: lancaster, republican,
david. caller: i wanted to give my condolences to the family. i'm from south carolina. we had a senator in kind of a similar situation and people talked the same thing about him and i could go on about term limits, but that is not going to happen, because you got some people tied to their coattails. he had good morals and i commend him for not backing down when he was asked about the klan. the klan was at one point but respected organization in this out. -- was at one point in respected organization in the south. the naacp is a racist organization. host: "we should all work towards a better future by
examining our history 4 better wisdom." katie, hi. caller: my father called me this morning to tell me that robert byrd passed away. i want to offer condolences to it in the family. i heard a few callers talk about what he was into when he was younger. a man has passed away. we should be in good taste and remember his legacy, and i think it is in bad taste for people to call in and throw him under the bus. the longest serving senator in the history of the senate, and he was a good man with good morals and it is ridiculous that people would call in and say things -- host: did you ever meet senator byrd? caller: no, but my grandfather was in the house of delegates for west virginia.
he had met robert byrd a few times, and told me that he is a wonderful man. host: where is nitro? caller: 15 minutes outside of charleston. host: what you do there? caller: i worked at wal-mart. host: how his business? caller: business as usual, very busy. host: tracy is on the line. caller: that i to said that the naacp is a racist -- that guy who said that the naacp is racist -- the naacp does not make laws. i've sent condolences to the family, but he is racist. my mother had to go to the back of the bus.
the people calling in right now about a man who said it is ok, you need to think about that. you have to put everything he has done in his lifetime together. most of his life was dedicated to not giving equal rights to people who are black the only people in west virginia are happy -- he only worked for the whites. that is why when people in west virginia are like, yeah, senator byrd he did not want to help out with brown. how can you say that he had anything good about them -- host: we will leave it there. joe, the passing of senator byrd. caller: good morning, peter. my condolences to the family, but i have to join the bandwagon of term limits. i was born in 1951, and byrd has
been in the senate almost my entire life. it just irks me that these people stay in for so long. it is like being under a minority or a king or something. we have to do something to -- get theseunder a monarchy or king or something. we have to do something to get these people out of office. host: west virginia. caller: first of all, i want to caller: first of all, i want to send my condolences not only to the family, but the residents of the state of west virginia and the people who work in his office. i never had the pleasure of meeting him, but he was a friend of my grandfather's years back. i had been to his office, and i hope that he put up this -- that they put up his memorabilia at his office to the smithsonian or something. his wall was covered